Saturday, April 5, 2014

Only Through Prayer

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet Jesus. He asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?" Someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so." He answered them, "You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me." And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you are able! All things can be done for the one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!" After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" He said to them, "This kind can come out only through prayer." Mark 9:14-29
This is an in-between time for us, as we prepare to leave Alaska and move on to the next call. Nothing is terribly clear yet, which makes this a very liminal time, a time of walking and living on the edge. This waiting and wondering can be a hard place, and a thin place. Sometimes we can find ourselves anxious and worried and other times excited and hopeful. There is no cure for this time except for living fully in the present. That and constant prayer with an open heart are the work we have to do.
The disciples are desperately trying to heal a young child. They try every tool they have and yet they face failure. Jesus brings healing to the child and helps his disciples understand that some circumstances, some illnesses, some demons - some of the things that plague us - can only be healed with prayer. Sometimes we forget that God is listening, especially in what seem like impossible situations. The Creator of all invites us to offer up the most impossible tasks in prayer.
Today I ask God to help me be prayerful in every moment. May we offer up our impossible needs, trusting that God has a solution for each. May we open our hearts to divine intervention, knowing that our prayers are invited and heard, received by the heart of God.

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